Three weeks, three events, three drivers, three cars, and three championships in three islands. That’s the task ahead of 25 year old Hamilton based rally navigator Malcolm Read who will compete in the New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Extreme Championship and Asia Pacific Rally Championship during August.
Read, an experienced rally co-driver having competed at New Zealand championship level since 2008, will be putting all his skills to the test as he tackles the three event challenge.
Commencing with this weekend’s Canterbury Rally, a round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, Read will co-drive for experienced Christchurch rally competitor Jeff Judd in a classic Ford Escort RS1800. The pair are the current point’s leaders in the New Zealand Classic Rally trophy and a good result on the roads in the Ashley Forest, north of Rangiora will strengthen their 2013 title campaign.
The following weekend, Read will be at the other end of the country in the Bay of Islands to contest the Rally of the North, a round of the Rally Extreme series. Co-driving for Auckland’s Dylan Turner in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9, Turner and Read currently sit second in the championship, and are among the favourites for victory having been previous winners of the Paihia based event in 2011.
There will be no time for celebrations in Paihia however, with Read then heading straight to Auckland airport following the rally, to catch a flight bound for Malaysia where his third event waits. Partnered for the first time alongside Tauranga’s Mike Young in a Team Cusco TRD Toyota Vitz RS, the pair will contest Rally Malaysia a round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. Young currently leads the 2WD class in the Asia Pacific Championship, and is targeting an outright podium result in Malaysia.
Read is looking forward to the challenge of three very different events, “Rallying is about the places you go and the variation that it throws at you. These three events will be so different, from the fast Canterbury Forests, to the flowing public roads around Paihia, and then the hot palm plantations in Malaysia.”
Read is also aware of the task in front of him, and that the next three weeks are by no means a tourist drive. “All three events are crucial championship rounds. Jeff, Dylan and Mike are all either leading or in the top two in their respective championships, and each event is crucial to their championship chances. The pressure will be on at each event to not just finish but win, so we have to prepare accordingly.”
“It’s a unique position to be in with the three events back to back, and with three championships there is a lot at stake.”